Institute for Peace and Prosperity, Released on 12/26/22
Those hoping for a Christmastime government shutdown were once again disappointed when Congress passed a 4,000-page, $1.7 trillion omnibus appropriations bill that few, if any, Representatives and Senators read before voting on. The Republican leadership celebrated this bloated monstrosity because it spends $858 billion on warfare while “only” spending $772.5 billion on welfare.
No one should think Republican insistence on more warfare than welfare spending means Democrats oppose the warfare state. Under President Biden and a Democrat-controlled Congress, “defense” spending has increased by 4.3 percent over the last two years. Similarly, every Republican President in recent years—including two who had a Republican-controlled Congress for at least part of their term—supported huge increases in welfare state spending. Most Democrats only pretend to oppose warfare and most Republicans only pretend to oppose welfare to appease their parties’ respective bases.
The Omnibus appropriates a $44.5 billion giveaway to Ukraine. This brings the total US spending on Ukraine’s military to over $100 billion – approximately 50 percent more than Russia’s entire military budget! This money is spent in a conflict that does not affect US security, yet one that would likely have not occurred were it not for prior US meddling in the region.
The Omnibus bill provides $11.3 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a $569.6 million increase and $524 million above the President’s request. According to the Democratic leadership, the funding increase is so the FBI can better fight “extremist violence and domestic terrorists.”
The public recently learned what the FBI considers an appropriate way to fight “extremism,” with the release of emails between Twitter officials and the FBI. These memos show the Bureau was working with Twitter—and almost certainly other social media companies—to suppress certain stories, such as Hunter Biden’s laptop, and points of view, such as skepticism regarding masks, lockdowns, and vaccine mandates. The bureau even used taxpayer funds to reimburse Twitter for the costs of implementing these “requests.” Government officials working with private companies to silence American citizens is a clear violation of the First Amendment.
This is hardly the first time the FBI has violated the constitutional rights of American citizens. In fact, since its founding the Bureau has targeted political activists and leaders such as Martin Luther King, whose agenda was considered “extreme” or “dangerous” by the Bureau’s corrupt leadership. The idea of a national police force with the power to target Americans because of their political beliefs would have horrified the drafters of the Constitution. The federal government has no constitutional authority over criminal law except for cases of piracy, counterfeiting, and treason. Libertarians, constitutional conservatives, and progressives who still care about civil liberties should join together to defund the FBI.
The fiscal year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill expands government, reduces liberty, and increases government debt, forcing the Federal Reserve to monetize more debt leading to more price inflation. Our political elites prioritize militarism abroad and authoritarianism at home over addressing the problems facing the American people like the Federal Reserve’s destructive monetary policy. This will fuel growing discontent with the political system. As the economy continues to worsen and the attempt to run the world continues to result in failures, the discontent will grow until the welfare warfare system collapses and, hopefully, a new era of liberty peace and prosperity dawns.
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Dr. Ron Paul is a physician and former twelve-term congressman from Texas who ran for president in 2008. He is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Revolution: A Manifesto and End The Fed. An unwavering defender of the US Constitution, Paul has been an advocate of sound money, personal liberty, free markets, and international peace throughout his political career and beyond. He is chairman of the FREE Foundation, founder of the Campaign for Liberty, and distinguished counselor to the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Dr. Paul recently started the Ron Paul Liberty Report, an online broadcast alternative to the mainstream media. Ron’s most recent novel is Swords into Plowshares.